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DII, DIII presidents councils cancel fall 2020 championships

NCAA Fall Sports
NCAA Fall Sports(Valley news Live)
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 4:02 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The NCAA Board of Governors directed each division to make a decision on its fall sports championships. It also agreed to require all members institutions to apply the newly announced resocialization principles to fall sports and set a 50% participation number fo all eligible participants in order for a fall championship to be held.

NCAA Division III presidents council ultimately chose to cancel the 2020-21 fall sports championships. The council said in a release, “With the health and safety of the division’s student-athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and communities as its priority, the Division III Presidents Council made the decision Wednesday to cancel the championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related administrative and financial challenges.” Adding that moving the championships to the spring proved unworkable financially.

“Looking at the health and safety challenges we face this fall during this unprecedented time, we had to make this tough decision to cancel championships for fall sports this academic year in the best interest of our student-athlete and member institutions,” said Tori Murden McClure, chair of the Presidents Council and president at Spalding. “Our Championships Committee reviewed the financial and logistical ramifications if Division III fall sports championships were conducted in the spring and found it was logistically untenable and financially prohibitive. Our Management Council reached the same conclusion. Moving forward, we will try to maximize the championships experience for our winter and spring sport student-athletes, who unfortunately were short-changed last academic year.”

Later Wednesday afternoon, the Division II presidents council made it’s own announcement to cancel fall championships.

The division has seven fall championships that have all been canceled. The Division II Presidents Council said it was due to the operational, logistical and financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Wednesday, 11 of the 23 Division II conferences had announced they will not compete during the traditional fall season.

With the Board of Governors’ directives, the Division II Presidents Council determined that it was not feasible to hold fall championships as planned or to postpone them to the spring while prioritizing the health and well-being of student-athletes.

“After reviewing and discussing the Board of Governors’ directives, the Division II Presidents Council made the difficult decision that holding fall championships in any capacity was not a viable or fiscally responsible option for Division II,” said Sandra Jordan, chancellor of South Carolina Aiken and chair of the council. “This decision was discussed very thoroughly, and I assure you, it was not made lightly. It is important to note that fall student-athletes will be given eligibility-related flexibility to allow them championship opportunities in the future. As we move forward, we will continue to focus on providing the best championships experience for our winter and spring student-athletes who were not afforded those opportunities at the beginning of this pandemic.”

On July 22, the Division II Administrative Committee approved waivers to allow Division II student-athletes to retain the use of a season of competition if their team completes 50% or less of the sport’s Bylaw 17 maximum contests/dates of competition for the 2020-21 academic year. Additionally, student-athletes who qualify for the season of competition waiver, or whose institutions cancel the sport season entirely, will receive an extension of their 10 semesters/15 quarters of eligibility, provided the student-athlete was otherwise eligible for competition during the 2020-21 academic year. Division II schools and conferences can still choose to play part or all of their regular season in the fall semester if they follow the requirements set forth by the Board of Governors.

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